This article titled “Hawaiian salad and watermelon juice ‘to be 2017 food trends'” was written by Rebecca Smithers Consumer affairs correspondent, for The Guardian on Wednesday 2nd November 2016 00.01 UTC
Forget suppers of heat-and-eat pizza washed down with a glass or two of red wine. In 2017 Britons will be snacking on Hawaiian raw fish salad and American-style vegetable yoghurts while quenching their thirst with watermelon juice.
The predicted new eating trends are contained in an annual survey of how Britons shop, eat and cook which lists the food fads of 2016 as churros, seeds, seaweed and Asian steamed buns.
The report, conducted by Waitrose among shoppers who use all supermarkets, also reveals that a third of those aged 18 to 34 regularly post pictures of their meals on social media.
More than 130,000 pictures of food are shared on Instagram every day in the UK, and the survey found that nearly half of consumers make more effort with their cooking if they think a photo of it is likely to be shared.
The grocer’s managing director, Rob Collins, said posting pictures of dinners online means that meals have become a form of self-expression, in the same way as “the clothes people wear, the cars they drive and the music they listen to. Food is today’s hottest social currency. ”
The survey also highlights the continuing shift in shopping habits. Half of consumers shop two or three times a week, compared with once a week 20 years ago, which has reduced the amount of food thrown away.
The fourth annual report, published on Wednesday, is based on millions of transactions in shops and online, bolstered by a poll of 2,000 adults of all ages and supported by sessions with focus groups.
Consumers’ interest in creating photogenic dishes such as charred pizzas and grilled steaks, Australian-style “freakshake” ice-cream desserts and colourful rainbows of “spiralised” vegetables are highlighted in the review.
The UK may be in the grip of a national obesity crisis but according to Waitrose, eating healthily has become mainstream – though consumers appear to have ditched traditional calorie-counting. Instead, shoppers are opting for naturally lighter and fresher food than they did five years ago. An 18% jump in aubergine sales this year, says the supermarket, is the result of shoppers substituting them for “carbs” such as lasagne sheets or roasting them as “chips”.
Healthy chia seeds and grains (including ready-prepared grain bags), coconut flour, cactus water – a berry-tasting low-sugar alternative to fruit juice – and seaweed and a “veggan” diet (vegan but including eggs) all emerged as top food trends of 2016.
For next year the retailer is tipping more unlikely items such as cold-pressed watermelon juice – which in the US has the star backing of Beyoncé, who recently bought a stake in the WTRMLN WTR brand. Vegetable yoghurts flavoured with carrot, beetroot, sweet potato and tomato are also expected to be a big new seller.
Sushi could be elbowed aside by Polynesian food – notably Hawaiian poke, a raw fish salad marinated with lime, soy and sesame. Healthy “gourmet” meal kits – being developed by Marks & Spencer – are also predicted to be a winner with time-poor consumers who want to try to cook from scratch.
Despite their obsession with social media and the appearance of food, Britons have also embraced “conscious” consumption, snapping up wonky or sub-standard vegetables and making better use of freezers to store food.
Restaurants are also getting in on the Instagram craze. Rochelle Venables, editor of the Good Food Guide, said photogenic food pulls in diners: “Restaurants today tend to have one dish on the menu that is really Instagrammable and people often go to a specific restaurant just to say they have had that dish.”
Going up – in favour in 2016
Churros (Spanish-style doughnuts)
Seeds and grains
Picanha (Brazilian rump steak)
Bao (Asian steamed) buns
What we’ll be eating and drinking in 2017
Watermelon juice: Pop star Beyoncé bought a stake in WTRMLN WTR in May – a drink said to be like sticking a straw into a melon and sipping. It comprises just watermelon flesh and rind plus lemon.
Polynesian food: Hawaiian poke – a raw fish salad marinated with lime, soy and sesame and often served with rice – is likely to be next year’s must-have snack.
Foodie meal kits: Gourmet meal kits with pre-measured, pre-prepared ingredients and even simpler self-assemble “ready meals” are together a growing trend.
Occasional extreme indulgence: The fact that we’re more likely to eat healthy food gives us the excuse to be self-indulgent. Expect more of the Australian-style “freakshakes” consisting of a milkshake piled high with other ingredients.
Vegetable yoghurt: In the US, product developers have infused the flavours of carrot, beetroot, sweet potato and tomato into yoghurt for a savoury accompaniment – rather like sour cream.
Perfume-inspired cocktails: London’s Cafe Royal teamed up with Givenchy this summer to create 10 fragrance-led cocktails – a phenomenon Waitrose predicts will take off in the UK next year.
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